Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Daylight Gate

The Daylight Gate  by Jeanette Winterson
Weight: 11.2 oz
method of disposal: Leaving at Joe's in EAV

This is a weird one for me.  This is Jeanette Winterson's latest novel.  I try not to purchase too many books while I am doing this project.  It defeats the point, but I LOVE Winterson.  Her books come out in the UK at least a full year before they come out here.  You cannot get them on an e-reader in the US until the book is actually sold here, none of the libraries have it, and I cannot borrow it from a friend.  I cannot wait either and, now, I have a connection in England.

I begged Harriet to send me this book for months and, finally, she brought it with her when she visited the States, along with a non-fiction book about the Lancashire witches.  I was already at the pinnacle of excitement and was thrown over the edge when I found out the book is based out of the location where Harriet lives.  Holler.  This was particularly exciting because I knew I would visit Harriet and thus the book could become more real to me.  It also made me feel like I was somehow reading into Harriet's history in some weird, distant way.

So, here is the wrap up.  This book was incredibly exciting and important because:
  • I read all of Winterson's books the second I can get my hands on them.
  • It was a gift from Harriet and came with an accompanying non-fiction text.
  • It took place somewhere I will stomp around one day
This book was fucking strange, and not really in a good way.  After reading the first few pages, while hanging out in a cabin with Harriet and Heather, I started to feel a little naughty, like I should hide.  Castration, incest, sexual assault, you name it---it was in this book.  Harriet and her mother went out to get the book, and I began to worry that one of them might decide to read it and that they would then think there was something seriously wrong with me.  There was next to no character development, and it was just one brutality after another.  There was next to no description of the land either.  It almost felt like she read the same nonfiction book and then quickly wrote a book afterwards and, perhaps, she was in a dark place.  Or, I realized it was put out by a publisher of horror stories so maybe that was why?  It is my least favorite Winterson book.

Around Valentines Day, I sent out cards to all my friends and, apparently, told some about the book, as well as my life.  Later, after I had finished The Daylight Gate, I got this text from Marisa: Your card was amazing!  Only you could include the words love, rape, incest, and awkward all in the same brilliant card.  Happy V day gorgeous."  I guess I do not need to worry about what people will think if they see me reading this book.  I, happily, put enough strangeness and confession into the world without any help.

I am sad to see this gift from Harriet go, but I know I will not read it again.  It served its purpose and then some.  It delighted me before it horrified me.  It created some laughs and unusual conversations.  It was there when I wanted it. 

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